Comparing is a popular pastime for bookworms.
Where would we be without our skilful analyses of which-book-is-the-best and is-this-the-next-Hunger-Games or which-book-about-dragons-is-better? Compare and judge. That’s what we do.
But do you ever read several books from the same author and compare them?
I don’t mean series. I mean standalone books.
For Ally Carter: Do you compare the Gallagher Girls to Heist Society? Both are about crime (though basically fighting on opposite sides.) Both are about geniuses.
For Dan Wells: Do you compare Partials and I Am Not A Serial Killer? There’s about zilch in common with them…except they have Dan Well’s awesome writing style. Partials is apocalyptic while I Am Not A Serial Killer is about…(I know this is a hard one to grasp): serial killers.
For Matthew Quick: Do you compare Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Boy21? They’re both contemporary and take a close look at mental illness, but Boy21 puts a sporty spin on it, while Leonard Peacock is a countdown to a murder/suicide.
I think it’s kind of natural to smush an author’s work together and compare it all.
Particularly if it’s a favourite author, right? Take Marissa Meyer for instance! She’s hard at work on her Lunar Chronicles, but she also has an Alice in Wonderland retelling coming out soon. Am I going to read it? HECK YEAH. I loved her previous work so of course I want more.
Will I compare it? Well, probably.
On purpose? Maybe not. It just happens.
But I feel sort of bad about comparing one author’s books.
I wouldn’t normally compare, say, apocalyptic books and paranormal thrillers. That doesn’t make sense! Yet, I’ve definitely done that with Dan Well’s books. And then there are expectations. If I love a book by an author and go to read more…I want that second book to be just-as-good or better!
But what if it’s a different style? What if it uses a subject I’m not normally interested in? What if it’s so different to the original work I read by that author that I just don’t like it not. at. all?
With your Sherlock skills, you’ve figured out I just finished reading a Matthew Quick book, right?
I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock earlier this year. Then, just now, I’ve finished a review copy (thanks Hachette Australia!) I read Boy21. I was freakishly excited for my 2nd Matthew Quick book, because I rated Leonard 5-stars!
But…Boy21 was about basketball.
I hate basketball.
This is what happens to me when I’m subjected to sports:
Absolutely hopeless, I am.
So, naturally, I spent my whole time comparing these two books and feeling very let down because Boy21 wasn’t meeting my expectations.
But maybe I shouldn’t be comparing them, right?! They are both hugely different books, with different story-arcs, different social dynamics, different character developments. THEY’RE DIFFERENT. But I compared them. And I got let down. It was tragic and I took a moment to wipe a tear of self-pity from my eye.
Don’t get me wrong! Boy21 wasn’t a bad book! I really enjoyed the characters, and seriously, let me be best friends with Finley (the narrator). He’s the kind of quiet but steady dude, who puts others first and volunteers to quietly take the backseat. He’s freakishly amazing. (And usually I get mad at characters who seem so “perfect”, but you can’t be mad at Finley. You can only love him.)
Maybe it was the pace? Leonard Peacock took place over ONE DAY. I know, right?! One day of freakish tension that reached a pinnacle and then — ha. I’m not going to tell you what happens. Whereas Boy21 took place over months, and was quite reflective. It was a quiet book. Even though the ending was rather dramatic.
Maybe it was just that: I don’t like basketball.
I’m probably always going to compare an author’s books together, even if I don’t mean to.
And do check out Boy21 by Matthew Quick sometime, okay?! I want to hear your opinions on it. And you can read my full review on Goodreads if you want to know the nitty gritties of what I loved and what made me twitchy.
It’s never been easy for Finley, particularly at home. But two things keep him going: his place on the basketball team and his girlfriend, Erin – the light in even the darkest of his days.
Then Russ arrives. He answers only to Boy21, claims to be from outer space, and also has a past he wants to escape. He’s one of the best high school basketball players in the country and threatens to steal Finley’s starting position.
Against all the odds, Russ and Finley become friends. Russ could change everything for Finley, both for better and for worse. But sometimes the person you least expect can give you the courage to face what’s gone before …and work out where you’re going next.
Cait played soccer once upon a time. Not properly. Just regularly, with friends in a backyard. She enjoys DOING it, just not watching other people do it. (Although, she did bust her foot once and bruised it sooo badly it swelled up twice it’s size. Did she limp off the field? No. She kicked with her other foot.) She now has a hankering to read Silver Linings Playbook by…you guessed it! Matthew Quick. Mm…let’s add it to the towering TBR.